Autoethnography as a Genre of Qualitative Research: A Journey Inside Out


  • Amani Hamdan University of Western Ontario Alumni Ottawa, Ontario, Canada


In this article, I argue that an autobiographical narrative approach is highly suited to educational research. I discuss how a researcher’s personal narrative, or autoethnography, can act as a source of privileged knowledge. I further argue that personal experience methods can be used on a variety of topics relevant to teaching and the field of education in order to expand knowledge. Autobiographical narrative is a research genre and a methodology. It offers opportunities to highlight identity construction as it covers various aspects of the narrator’s life. In an attempt to contribute to literature based on Muslim women’s educational experiences, I have disclosed a series of personal experiences. I have thereby demonstrated the value of autoethnography. When writing an autoethnography, the researcher can develop a deeper understanding of his or her own life. Moreover, reading an autoethnography, one is able to view how others live their lives, which can also contribute to a deeper understanding of life in general. Therefore, autoethnography—whether read or written—has a strong, educational merit.